The Crust Never Sleeps

How do you make the perfect crust that is flaky yet tender? Sounds like an oxymoron, but  if follow this recipe exactly, you will be able to make the perfect pie crust. The moral of this episode is butter, the correct amount at the correct temperature. Master this and you will be the pie crust King or Queen. If you have a food scale, weigh your dry ingredients. In baking where every measurement is meant to be precise, this will help you achieve that better than a measuring cup. It may seem a little daunting, but practice your mise en place, take your time and you will turn out a great pie.

 First start off with your pears. I found small ones so I used 3 instead of 2.
 Core them and slice thinly
 Take some pound cake, store bought is fine, and cube into small pieces
 Put the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt in a food processor
 Pulse until well combined
 Take a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle on some flour
 Take 1 1/2 sticks of COLD of butter and roll around in the flour
 Cut it up into small cubes
 Add a half stick of room temperature butter to the mix first and pulse until completely combined. Then add the cold butter in two parts.
 Pulse until the mixture starts to look crumbly, the second batch you can leave some larger chunks of butter like this.
 Get out your spray bottle and add in the apple juice concentrate and water. Start spritzing the mixture and folding it in. Repeat this process until the dough sticks together slightly and can be formed.
 Form into a disk and wrap in parchment paper. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
 Start on the filling by cooking down the pears
 Add in the balsamic vinegar
 Sugar
 Nutmeg and Cinnamon
 Butter
 Blueberries
 And finally the flour
 After 20 minutes, roll out the dough to approximately 1/4″ thick. Put this on a half sheet pan upside down. No that’s not a typo. Don’t worry, every thing will be OK 🙂 Now top dough with the pound cake. This will help hold the filling on better. I bet you’re really starting to feel strange about this recipe now.
 Then top with the filling
 And remaining 1 oz. of butter
Fold up the sides of the dough
 Brush on the egg wash, sprinkle with sugar and bake for 30-35 minutes
 The end result is a beautifully rustic looking pie, that tastes delicious
Slice and serve

No Pan Pear Pie
Printable Recipe

Ingredients
For the dough:

* 14 oz. or approximately 2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
* 3 oz. or approximately 1/2 cup cornmeal
* 3 tablespoons sugar
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided, diced
* 3 tablespoons apple juice concentrate
* 2 tablespoons cold water

For the filling:

* 2 Anjou pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
* 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
* 4 tablespoons sugar
* 1 pinch grated nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 2 tablespoons  plus 1 oz. of butter
* 1 cup fresh blueberries
* 1 teaspoon flour
* 1 1/2 cups pound cake, cubed
* 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Directions

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Add flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt in a food processor. Pulse until thoroughly combined. Use 1/2 stick of room temperature butter and add to the flour mixture. Pulse until the completely combined. Add the remaining 1 1/2 sticks of cold butter in separate batches. Pulse until flour mixture is crumbly and can hold shape.

Combine the apple juice concentrate and the cold water in a spray bottle. Spritz the dough with the mixture and fold it in with a spatula. After about three tablespoons of the liquid, check the dough for consistency. It should hold together when compressed but remain relatively dry to the touch. Add more water if needed. Form the dough into a ball. Wrap the dough in parchment paper and rest in refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Heat a pan over medium heat. Add pears and cook for a couple minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, sugar and cook until the pears have softened. Add the nutmeg, cinnamon, and the butter until melted and combined. Fold in the blueberries. Remove from heat. Sprinkle on the flour and combine well. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Transfer to a half sheet pan upside down. Add cubed pound cake on top  of the dough. Top the cubes with the pear and blueberry filling and add 1 ounce of cubed butter. Fold the sides of the crust onto filling. Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Remove from the sheet pan immediately and cool on pie rack.
Recipe Courtesy of FoodNetwork.com

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